Proficiency Testing, Certified Reference Materials, and Quality Control Standards for Analytical Laboratories

ERA is one of the most trusted providers of certified reference materials (CRMs) and proficiency testing (PT) products in the world. Since 1977, environmental laboratories have partnered with us to strengthen and simplify their quality assurance programs. With PT standards of impeccable quality, you can confidently make decisions based on ERA standards. Our industry-leading customer service, technical support, and PT data tools make it easier for you to find the products you need and solve any problems that you identify. And as NELAC accredited PT provider, you can be certain of accurate and defensible data.

If you have any trouble finding the perfect standard for your needs, send us an email and let us know. Select a category below to learn more about ERA's proficiency testing products, certified reference materials, and quality control standards. 

Water Pollution
Water Supply
DMR-QA Underground Storage Tank Calibration
Microbiology Air & Emissions Reagents
Radiochemistry Custom Standards  

Quality Control Program to Improve Your Analytical Process

Analytical laboratories know that data quality is of the utmost importance. It’s the essence of what you do and the reason for what we do. Having appropriate quality control measures in place to deal with a range of variables increases your ability to meet regulatory needs and in turn, impact your laboratory's revenue.

Quality control generally applies to four basic functions of the analytical process:
  1. Method development
  2. Staff training
  3. Ongoing performance
  4. Corrective action
Method Development
When a new method is being developed by a laboratory, it is important to determine if the method meets defined criteria.
- Precision:  degree of agreement between independent measurements under controlled conditions
- Accuracy:  degree of agreement of a measure valued with the true or expected value
- Linear range:  ability to analyze samples ranging from reporting limit to estimated upper end
- Ruggedness:  ability to accommodate change in various factors such as sample size, pH adjustment, column type, amount of acid, or composition of sample matrix.

Staff Training
A change in laboratory personnel is a significant variable that needs to be evaluated.Use certified reference materials to ensure newly hired staff is appropriately and sufficiently trained to conduct your routine analyses.Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) or Quality Control standards (QCs) can also be used to regularly document the accuracy and precision of your experienced analysts.QCs can also be used when expanding the analytical responsibilities of staff by giving analysts an opportunity to analyze real world samples under direct supervision.

Ongoing Performance
Once a method is established in your laboratory, there are many variables that can affect its performance.
  • Analysts
  • Instruments
  • Standards and reagents
  • Laboratory environment
  • Sample matrix
  • Random errors
A routine QC program can help to minimize problems that may arise as a result of a change in these and other variables.

Corrective Action

CRMs are effective when conducting root cause analysis of laboratory deviations. CRMs can help identify the source of the error – man, machine, materials, or method. Once the root cause is identified and corrective action implemented, analysis of a CRM can prove and document that corrective was effective.

To start a routine QC program, call ERA and speak with a Customer Service Representative.

How Healthy is Your Laboratory?

Health of Your Lab is a robust data tool within eDATA® that captures and tracks your historical proficiency testing study results and serves as a convenient gateway for managing your laboratory's health.

Learn more about Health of Your Lab and view videos.